Before my Digital history class I have overlooked websites like Wikipedia, Twitter, and blog websites. I felt that their existence was insignificant to my curiosities and that the flood of inane interpretations would outweigh the intellectual ones. I now realize that this assumption was baseless and has actually prevented myself from learn an enormous amount of broad information that could that could be crucial in future endeavors. An amazing example of this is my lack of trust towards Wikipedia. For years I have felt the website is untrustworthy and held many falsehoods. While this risk does exist, I have been neglecting to realize that millions of passionate historians and educators put their heart and soul into many of the webpages. Robert S. Wolff has proven this as he discussed the level of intellectual debates behind the scenes of Wikipedia. His article, The Historian’s Craft, Popular Memory, and Wikipedia, discusses how one of the most controversial events in our nation’s history is constantly being edited and improvised by hundreds of people, many being scholarly. The additions have created a site that has around 19,000 words and hundreds of corrections. The extensive bibliography shows that many have read up on the subject and allows many interested viewers to find quality sources for further research. Wikipedia is an amazing website for researchers and curious readers to get a great deal of information in a short synopsis and can easily lead a reader to further educating themselves on a topic.
Another underestimated way of further educating oneself, is the use of Twitter in a professional way. Many could ask how this is possible. At first one can interpret Twitter as a social media site where many teenagers and young adults express their daily activities and life hitches. This could become very obnoxious for someone who was just looking for a quick sports update, breaking news alert, or an intriguing discussion between students and professors. One great example of this is by Nick Sacco, who discussed in his blog Putting Yourself Out There: Tips and Tricks that it is quite possible to make a twitter account for educational and professional purposes. If one really wanted to inform themselves and have education debates and conversation Twitter can allow this and also connect people from across the globe.
Personally I have grown very fond of Wikipedia to further my education in history. The brief descriptions lead me to read other articles and books on the topic. I have not truly taken off on the Twittersphere, but I do plan on expanding my use on the website and see if Nick Sacco’s points hold true.